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Graduation is Looming. So What Next?

1st June 2017 Posted by: Maddie Broxup

TODAY, I will be handing in my last ever university assignment and my time as a student will be over. Despite feeling a little excited about never having to write academically ever again, I feel as though I might actually miss the work. In my last year of uni, the library became my second home and getting into bed at the end of the day had never felt so good. For me, I found that third year really opened my eyes. You spend your first and second years thinking “hey – I have so long until I finish uni! Plenty of time to make big life choices!” and then you end up blinking and suddenly it’s time to enter adulthood.

One thing I’ve realised at uni is that most people don’t really have a clue what their future plans are and for someone like me who is equally uncertain, this is quite reassuring. All I know is that I have fallen in love with the North of England – Newcastle especially – and the thought of heading back home down South does not sound appealing.

For those of you who are maybe starting university with uncertainty, I have decided to sum up my uni experience in five points outlining what these three years have taught me:

1. Good grades don’t come quick – especially in first year!

 My first ever uni assignment landed me with a measly 42%. I remember punishing myself and overthinking it for weeks, what if I would never get any higher than a 42?! So many thoughts clouded my mind: should I just drop out now and save myself the humiliation? Absolutely not! Grades improve as you go on, so don’t be put off by a few bad ones in your first year.

2. Writing a dissertation isn’t actually that scary

Before I had even started uni I dreaded writing a 10,000 word dissertation. However, once you break it up into different sections, taking each one as it comes, you realise that it isn’t actually as scary as you think. You may also find yourself actually enjoying the process! This is something that both me and my friends found. Make sure you pick a topic that you enjoy writing about, because it will end up consuming a lot of your time.

3.Take advantage of opportunities to get involved

This is something I wish I had done more in my first year. However, this year I put myself forward to volunteer in primary schools teaching art workshops and I had a great time. Not only is it good for the CV, but it gives you something other than schoolwork to look forward to. Most universities will have opportunities like this, so make sure you enquire.

4. Make sure you prioritise your mental health and wellbeing

Without getting into too much detail, this year has been a rollercoaster in terms of mental wellbeing. If you feel like the pressure of uni is getting too much, or you are constantly feeling lonely or unhappy, reach out to someone. Every university will have student services and somewhere you can go if you need someone to listen to you. Put yourself first!

5.The last year is hard, but it’s all worth it

I feel as though this year I haven’t had a chance to just stop and breathe. It’s inevitable that your final year of uni will be your toughest – academically and socially. However, it is important to remember that it will all be worth it and that the stress won’t last forever. 

Want some more student advice? Check out How to Kick-Start Your Career Between Classes.

Photos: Gratisography

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